Hankook Tire announces Series A investment in used car e-commerce platform 'CARMERCE'
- Strive to support emerging Korean startups and to take lead in promoting the venture ecosystem
- KRW 3 billion pre-Series A investment in ‘CARMERCE’, with highly valued growth potential and innovation
- To create additional business synergies through multi-faceted collaboration such as platform technology development, service planning, and promotion
Seoul, Korea, March 2, 2022 – Hankook Tire & Technology, affiliate of Hankook & Company Group (formerly Hankook Tire Group), announced its participation as a KRW 3 billion pre-Series A investor of used car e-commerce platform 'CARMERCE'. The investment contract was signed at Hankook & Company’s headquarter, 'Technoplex' in Pangyo, Korea, on February 28.
CARMERCE is Korea's first used car e-commerce platform established by HANDLE, a mobile car distribution company. The platform enables consumers to purchase a used car in just 10 minutes using their mobile device, eliminating the need to visit a physical a dealership. The entire process, including vehicle purchase, registration, financial services, and returns, is carried out entirely on mobile, allowing for a non-face-to-ace experience. It features help prevent common problems found in the used car market, such as unclear pricing, odometer rollbacks, and fraudulent sales. Recognized for its excellence, CARMERCE received seed investment from the startup accelerator, ‘SparkLabs’, last year.
Hankook Tire has recognized the growth potential and innovation of CARMERCE, leading to the company’s decision to invest while also fulfilling its social responsibilities by supporting promising startups and contributing to the revitalization of the Korean venture ecosystem. This investment represents a significant milestone for Hankook Tire, marking the company’s first-ever lead investment in a startup and imbuing it with even greater significance.
With this investment, CARMERCE plans to recruit elite development personnel and upgrade its services. The company also aims to provide more competitive services to customers by strengthening promotional marketing activities and collaborating with various financial companies to accelerate the development of used car loans.
Furthermore, CARMERCE and Hankook Tire plan to build an ongoing strategic partnership to create business synergies across a range of areas, such as platform technology development, service planning, and promotions, based on their shared focus on 'mobility'.
Hankook & Company is committed to establishing an ECO-system that promotes the revitalization of the Korean venture ecosystem. To achieve this goal, the company is leveraging the know-how and infrastructure of its core affiliate company, Hankook Tire, to support mobility startups. The Mobility ECO-system is poised to serve as a key pillar for nurturing the group’s growth engine and building a foundation for future coexistence. Going forward, the group will pursue optimal strategies to strengthen its next-generation new growth portfolio at the group level.
In addition, Hankook & Company is actively involved in fostering mutual growth between larger corporations and startups. As part of this effort, the group will participate in the upcoming 'Rocketship IR Competition' this year, in collaboration with the accelerator 'CNT Tech', as part of the 'Early Startup Package' investment attraction program.